10th Annual Nevada Tribal Tourism Conference: Agenda

This year’s Tribal Tourism Conference offers top-notch presenters and keynote speakers.
Participants will have the opportunity to spend a day learning about the Washoe people
and the spectacular place they’ve called home for thousands of years.
We look forward to seeing you at the 10th Annual Nevada Tribal Tourism Conference!


Monday, April 23
Breakfast on Your Own

9:00 amBus Departs from Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe Valets

Step on Tribal Tour Guide Ben Rupert to Accompany the Group

Arrive at Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau
Presentation on Lake Tahoe Galis Dungl Project and Cultural Exhibit – Ben Rupert

Depart to Genoa, NV – Winter Home of the Washoe People

Arrive at Borges Ranch, Genoa, NV

Welcome by Dianna Borges

Sarah Winnemucca Young Chautauqua Performance – Jahmila Santiago
12:00 pmLunch Provided

Washoe Tribal History Presentation
Herman Fillmore, Cultural/Language Resources Director, Washoe Tribe of NV & CA

Traditional Washoe Games

Depart to Mormon Station State Park

Arrive at Mormon Station State Park
Presentation on Washoe Traditional Snowshoe Project
Herman Fillmore, Cultural/Language Resources Director, Washoe Tribe of NV & CA
John Dayberry, Owner, Native Elements
3:45 pmBoard Bus for Hotel
4:30 pmArrive at Hotel

Tuesday, April 24
Breakfast on Your Own

8:00 amRegistration Opens
Revolution A

8:30 amOpening Prayer – Washoe Tribal Elder
Welcome and General Session

Neil Mortimer
Chairman, Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California

Brenda Nebesky
Interim Deputy Director, Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs

Sherry L. Rupert
Chairwoman, Nevada’s Indian Territory
8:45 amA Look Back at Nevada’s Indian Territory

Larry Friedman
Former Deputy Director,
Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs

Della John
Tribal Administrator, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

A reflection on the Indian Territory with its early champions.
Look how far we’ve come!
9:00 amKeynote Address:
Culture is the Foundation to Indigenous Tourism

Pohai Ryan
Executive Director,
Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association

Native Hawaiians have been overrun with commercialization of their culture. Find out how the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association is helping the hospitality industry to present Native Hawaiian culture through cultural heritage tourism.
9:45 amVisitation is Down in the United States, but Not in Indian Country!

Camille Ferguson
Executive Director, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association

Through the partnership created with the US Department of Commerce AIANTA will share current international visitor trends to Native American communities in the USA. This session is intended to inform you on who is coming to your community, village, or reservation, how they are arriving, and what they want to do when they arrive. This information will better prepare you and your community to participate and benefit from the USA's dynamic visitor industry.
10:30 amBreak with Exhibitors
Graceland C

10:45 amLanguage and Culture is what makes us Unique Cultural Panel

Mike Williams
Master Artist, Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribal Member

Ralph Burns
Language Teacher and Storyteller, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Member

Leah Brady
Basket Weaver, Great Basin Basket Weavers (Invited)

Ben Rupert
Traditional Artist and Tour Guide, Warrior’s Path Native American Tours

Melanie Smokey
Medicinal/Cultural Plants, Washoe Tribal Member

A panel of cultural practitioners share their traditional artistry, how they got started and why it’s important to carry on their traditions.
12:00 pmLunch Provided
Revolution B

1:00 pmAccessing Capital for Tribal Tourism Projects - How to Get Started

Moderator: Kelly Clark
Special Projects, Public Affairs and Native American Coordinator,
USDA Rural Development

Kari Frilot
Rural Programs Manager, Nevada Division of Tourism

Michelle Kelly
Business & Cooperative Programs Specialist, USDA Rural Development

Cheryl Couch
Community Programs Director, USDA Rural Development

Janice Keillor
Park and Recreation Program Manager, Nevada State Parks

Many times funding is an issue in getting started in your new tourism business. This panel of state and federal agencies can help you get started.
2:15 pmBreak with Exhibitors - Cultural Demonstrations
Graceland C (30 mins)

2:45 pmBuilding Tribal Business Enterprise and Tourism
through Native Made Arts and Crafts

Karen Coe
University of Nevada, Reno, Small Business Development Center/Made in Nevada Manager

Mark Thompson
Director, Indian Dispute Resolution

Marketing your product is half the battle. This panel will discuss the benefits of participating in Nevada’s Made in Nevada Program. The panel will also look at the possibility of a Native American Made in Nevada Program.

3:45 pmWho are the Stewards of our Past and Present? - Museum Panel

Ann M. Wolfe
Senior Curator and Deputy Director, Nevada Museum of Art

Billie Jean Guerrero
Museum Director, Pyramid Lake Museum and Visitors Center

Bobbi Rahder
Museum Director, Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum

Museums are stewards of the stories, history, and culture about the land and their communities. Learn how Nevada museum professionals are partnering with tribal communities to interpret living cultural heritage in all its forms, from the past to present.
5:00 pmClosing Remarks and Recess for the Day

6:00 pm - 8:00 pmWelcome Reception

Wednesday, April 25 
Breakfast on Your Own

8:30 amWelcome Reception
Revolution A

8:45 amBuilding a Foundation for Enduring Sovereignty

Scott Sypolt
Partner, Ackerman LLP

Before engaging in any business enterprise, the foundation of your tribe, organization or business must be protected. This session will start you thinking about how to protect your enterprise and build that foundation.

9:30 amGrowing Business through Art

Tony Manfredi
Executive Director, Nevada Arts Council

Mark Salinas
Arts and Culture Coordinator, Carson City

Melissa Melero
Artist, Great Basin Native Artists

Through art we enrich the lives of others. For the artists, their work is a way of life. Hear from local arts organizations that can help you build your art business.
10:15 amBreak with Exhibitors -Cultural Demonstrations
Graceland C

10:45 am21st Century Marketing - Best Practices, Ideas and Case Studies

Mick Raher
Publisher, Nevada Appeal, Sierra Nevada Media Group

Brooke Warner
General Manager, Sierra Nevada Media Group

Kevin Idoni
Digital Sales Director, Sierra Nevada Media Group

Caren Roblin
Director of Content, Sierra Nevada Media Group

Brooke Bentley
Social Media & Content Manager, Sierra Nevada Media Group

Find out from the experts how to market your product in the 21st Century.
12:00 pmLunch Provided
Revolution B

1:30 pmMeet Your Local, State and National Tourism Partners

Joel Dunn, Manager
Manager, NV Consulting, LLC

Brenda Nebesky
Interim Deputy Director, Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs

Camille Ferguson
Executive Director, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association

No need to do it all alone. You have partners locally, statewide and nationally who can help you to market your business.
2:45 pmFrom Itineraries to Tours

Donna Cossette
Owner, Great Basin Tour Company

Donovan Hanley
Owner, Detours Native America

Identifying what will appeal to visitors, but will keep sacred places and traditions and ceremonies protected can be challenging. Hear how some native-owned tour companies balance business needs with culture.
3:30 pmBreak with Exhibitors
Graceland C

3:45 pmPractice Your Pitch

Camille Ferguson
Executive Director, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association

Rachel Cromer Howard
Public Relations and Media Specialist, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association

Whether you have a tour company, are a tribal entrepreneur, or native artist, you have to be able to pitch your company and your product. This short interactive exercise will help you understand your product and perfect your pitch!
5:00 pmClosing Remarks


This year’s sponsors: